Canada prides itself on being a multicultural society and, in a proudly multicultural society, you’d expect to see positive representations of people of colour. There’s a trite little saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” so what does this editorial cartoon which ran on September 7th in The Record say?
Maybe, one picture’s not enough? Here are the editorial cartoons that ran in The Record between September 7 and October 7, 2011 (I haven’t included cartoons that only represent current politicians).
The only representation of a person of colour is in the September 7 cartoon where the person is represented as an immigrant taking hand-outs from the McGuinty Government and, therefore, from the average Joe.
The Record did post a letter on September 12 by Robert Davidson in which he complained about the cartoon:
I must protest Graeme MacKay’s cartoon that appeared in the Sept. 7 issue of The Waterloo Region Record. The portrayal of Premier McGuinty fleecing “taxpayers” for the benefit of immigrants, kindergarteners and post-secondary students at best is based upon a false premise. We are all citizens and residents of Ontario, not merely taxpayers. The immigrants who gain employment commensurate with their skills will contribute to the common good through the taxes they pay as well as furthering economic activity in the private sector.
Similarly, the post-secondary student who is not left buried in debt will be in position to make significant contributions to public services through their taxes as well as be in a position to fuel the economy through purchasing a home, etc., much earlier.
I deeply resent the current trend in The Waterloo Region Record and elsewhere to artificially divide us into “taxpayers” and others who can be abused at will.
But then they shamelessly posted a letter by Laura Johannes on September 20 which they titled “Worth ‘fridging,'” which says:
Regarding the recent Record editorial cartoons, the Dalton McGuinty one was so hilarious I posted it on my fridge…
It’s not a matter of political stripe, as I’ve “fridged” funny anti-Stephen Harper ones during the federal election. Different strokes . . .
You see, misrepresentations of immigrants are sooo funny, they usually make me LMAO! But I guess people of colour wouldn’t find them funny because, you know, different strokes for different folks and all that.
These representations of Canadians are tedious and offensive. They either erase people of colour or depict them in a negative light. It’s shameful that we can do this while patting ourselves on the back for being multicultural.
To The Record: stop printing these cartoons!